Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Konexa, a foreign investor, for the generation, storage, and distribution of electricity.
The MoU will see Konexa investing $100 million to, among other things, provide cutting-edge technology in deploying renewable energy.
Pradeep Pursnani, Chief Executive Officer of Konexa who said this at the British High Commission in Abuja where the MoU was signed, added that the agreement “is backed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)” and would produce and distribute 10 megawatts of electricity to 30,000 consumers in Kano.
“In this partnership, Konexa will bring investment, provide better service for the customers and help bring the discos to financial health.
“This is important given the situation of the power sector in Nigeria where a lot of the discos are struggling financially even to pay for the power that is provided to them.
“So Konexa we believe will significantly help in addressing the power sector in Nigeria,” he said.
In improving generation capacity, he said that Konexa would deploy solar power, hydropower, and biopower technologies.
According to him, it is important to complete the project by 2022 and be successful in order to quickly replicate the same in other states of the federation.
“I hope that after we deliver in these states we can look at other states across Nigeria.
“Our business model is very replicable and scalable and provides a win-win for all.
“In Kaduna, we will deliver before the end of the year, the investment is around 90 million dollars.
“It is quite small but it is important to start small to prove things before we can scale up.
“In Kano we are estimating the project cost to be well over $100 million,” he said.
He said that the company was partnering with Nigerian distribution companies to rehabilitate the distribution network in Nigeria, meter every consumer, and add more generation capacity in order to connect rural areas as well.
The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge who was also at the ceremony commended the move, stressing that the time had come for Africa to deploy alternative but pollution-free sources of energy.
“It is really good to see Africa coming up with innovative ways of producing, distributing, and storing energy for industrial, commercial, and residential use, using innovative financial structures,” he said.
Giving insights into the funding and partnership, Aisha Abba-Kyari, Associate Vice President at the NSIA said the Kano project was at first a presidential initiative that coincided with the Konexa project.
She said the project was designed to benefit both communities and industrial clusters, adding that NSIA was acting as the funds and project manager.
“We are actually funds and project managers for the 10 megawatts solar power plants in Kano State, it is a presidential initiative which coincided with KONEXA and KEDCO’s franchise model that they are developing in the same area.
“We are treating this as a pilot project and upon completion, the plan is to redeploy similar projects across the country,” she said.
The Managing Director of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company Dr Jamil Gwamna, described the MoU signing as a great opportunity for KEDCO.
He said the MoU would contribute immensely in addressing one of the biggest challenges of distribution companies just as it would 0attract capital investment to improve the quality of electricity supply to customers.
“What this partnership is bringing in the investment to increase the reliability and also the quality of supply to our customers.
“We have both the on-grid and off-grid solutions.
“The solar is an off-grid solution, and there are other solutions that Konexa is bringing,” he said.
The signing of the MoU is coming barely three years after Konexa signed an MoU with the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) in 2018 for 10,000 energy connections worth $90 million.
Konexa received a UKAid grant during its early stages and has also been supported by other partners including the U.S., Shell Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation.
By Ifeanyi Nwoko